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2025 - The Shuttle Program has been privatized and the shuttle Atlantis relegated to glorified taxi between space stations. Its crew is on a routine mission, conducting experiments - little do they know - they are the experiment. Written by
As in a wicked game of chess, Atlantis Down strategically zigzags and jumps across a landscape of human frailty and vulnerability, inviting the viewer to question their own potential defenselessness under threat of attack by a 'being' that can't be seen, touched or truly known. This Sci-Fi film cleverly moves towards a subtle, but powerful question: Does one ostensibly have the power to affect outcomes based on the thoughts and the choices they make in the "game" that is life?
You need to know where not to move your pieces (or rather your thoughts).
This concept creeps up on you. Goose pimples tickle your flesh sort of freezing your mind and body and hold you hostage to its building intensity and wave of surprises. With each "mini"-vignette, and next move, comes the horror that a "force" outside of the normal sphere of life is playing host to your fearsyour greatest fears.
Michael Rooker's performance as ruthless and reckless "alien" is chilling. Mae Flores (as Rachel Lee) is unforgettable. We understand without a doubt now how fears become real even if the circumstances under which they are experienced are not. Interestingly, even the camera angles seem to mimic a game of chess, moving forward back and sideways to cleverly bring you full circle from haunted pasts to haunting nows. What is, should be or will be the next move?
It is truly inspiring to see such a well done film done well in only 13 days and a tight budget. Max Bartoli ingeniously probes our psyches, notably echoing among other observations Winston Churchill's that "those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
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